The Anonymous Widower

Gulf Of Mexico Train Ferry Fleet Renewal

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette International.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The first of two train ferries ordered for CG Railway’s route across the Gulf of Mexico has been launched by CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Co in China.

The CGR joint venture of Genesee & Wyoming and SEACOR Holdings transports 10 000 wagons/year between Mobile in Alabama in the USA and Coatzacoalcos in Mexico.

I was surprised about this article, as between the US and Mexico wasn’t where I would expect to find a train ferry.

But it obviously makes sense as two new ships don’t come cheap.

Some other points from the article.

  • The two new ships will increase capacity by forty percent.
  • There will be a 44 % reduction of CO2 emissions compared to the all rail route.
  • The ships are designed to be pandemic proof.
  • The ships take five days for the trip, which is half the time of the all-rail route.

I can see this investment being copied in various places around the world.

 

 

March 15, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 7 Comments

Is Heavy-Duty Fuel Cell Trucking Almost Ready For Prime Time?

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Freight Waves.

It is a comprehensive article, that discusses hydrogen-powered trucks with respect to the United States.

Some quick points from the article.

  • Companies are looking at dedicated routes.
  • California with its emissions legislation, will be in the forefront of hydrogen trucks in the US.
  • Nikola will build hydrogen filling stations to support big customers.
  • Toyota are using the same fuel cells in passenger cars and the largest trucks.
  • Toyota are trialling their trucks on short runs from the ports in the Los Angeles area.

There does seem to be a lot of US companies getting involved in hydrogen.

The article is definitely a must-read.

Some of the applications mentioned for hydrogen trucks are more about heavy loads over short distances, than taking a load half-way across the US.

These applications will possibly mean.

  • Back-to-base refuelling.
  • More running in urban areas.
  • Large reductions in emissions and pollution.

As fleets get larger, it might be economic for a fleet to have its own system to provide the hydrogen, as the hydrogen-buses do in Pau.

I suspect that roll-out of these applications could be helped by some well-designed tax incentives.

February 19, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Covid: Biden Vows 100m Vaccinations For US In First 100 Days

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

These are the introductory paragraphs of the article.

US President-elect Joe Biden has set a goal of 100 million Covid vaccinations in his first 100 days in office.

He said his first months in office would not end the outbreak and gave few details on a rollout plan but he said he would change the course of Covid-19.

Introducing his health team for when he takes office on 20 January, he urged Americans to “mask up for 100 days”.

I can see a few rocks ahead in his plan.

Vaccine Production

According to media reports, the number of vaccinations has declined since Friday because of delivery issues with the Pfizer vaccine.

In Tracking COVID-19 Vaccination Statistics, the number of vaccinations in the last few days are as follows.

  • 15th January – 324233
  • 16th January – 549920
  • 17th January – 205235
  • 18th January – 204076

The figures have been declining because of these delivery issues.

Pfizer say they are updating the factory in Belgium to increase production.

I don’t believe that, as the United States will be needing a million does per day, that they can get enough production on a reliable basis.

A Federal Lockdown

I believe that to get the virus under control in the United States, the country must follow the route of countries like France, Germany, Japan, South Korea and the UK and have a period of perhaps a hundred days of total lockdown.

But I doubt that would be possible in the United States.

Mask Wearing

I don’t believe that Americans will mask up for a hundred days.

The Anti-Vaxxers And The Trumpeteers

I can see them having a field day!

Especially, if Joe Biden adds some strong legislation to curb the spread of the virus. Which in my view is needed.

Conclusion

It’s going to get a lot messier and probably more dangerous in the United States in the next few months.

January 20, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 2 Comments

Tips For American Servicemen In Britain During The Second World War

The title of this post, is the same as this page on the Imperial War Museum web site.

These are the first two introductory paragraphs.

In 1942, the first of over 1.5 million American servicemen arrived on British shores in preparation for the Allied offensives against Germany during the Second World War.

That year, the United States’ War Department published Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain to help soldiers, sailors and airmen – many of whom had never travelled abroad before – adjust to life in a new country.

The whole area of the web site is well-worth exploring.

The book, which is entitled Instructions For American Servicemen In Britain 1942 can be purchased from the museum.

January 16, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , | 3 Comments

New Form Of Solar Energy To Enter US Market

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on abc News.

This is the first few paragraphs.

Organic energy is getting a jolt with the launch of GO-OPV’s ORENgE system in North America.

Organic energy uses a thin film panel to capture the sun’s rays and converts it to power, similar to traditional solar power.

The panels could be used for windows or trucks, phone or computer chargers, or it can be a building-integrated photovoltaics in glass.

This sounds good to me!

My South-facing windows make air-conditioning a must in my house.

But my air-conditioning broke in 2018 and no-one has been able to fix it!

This technology would sort it out in a trice!

Conclusion

This is technology to watch.

December 20, 2020 Posted by | Energy | , , , | 1 Comment

Will The United States Be The Largest Battery In The World?

This article on Renewables Now is entitled Swell Bags Funds For 200 MWh Of Distributed Energy Storage In VPPs.

This is the introductory paragraph.

US distributed energy and grid solutions provider Swell Energy Inc has secured financial backing for up to USD 450 million (EUR 370.6m) worth of virtual power plants (VPPs) to be deployed across the country.

200 MWh a lot of energy storage and it works out at around $450,000 per MWh.

But it was the last paragraph that caught my eye.

Swell expects distributed energy systems in its portfolio to generate more than 3,000 GW over the next 20 years and customers to potentially store 1,000 GWh for later use.

If that should be 3,000 GWh, that will be 150 GWh per year. By comparison Drax, which is the largest power station in the UK, can generate 34,689.6 GWh in a year.

Drax may be 230 times bigger in GWh per year, but the US numbers are impressive and as wind and solar develop in the country, I suspect the United States will become the largest battery in the world.

Watch the US renewable energy sector grow!

December 15, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , | 1 Comment

Liquid Hydrogen Tested As An Auto Fuel

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the Lethbridge Herald.

I find it strange that I have only picked up this story from a local newspaper in Alberta.

Lethbridge is a city, with a population of a bit over 100,000. It doesn’t seem to have much to do with Alberta’s oil industry, which might see hydrogen as a threat.

This is the introductory paragraph.

A recent demonstration project was evaluated for a hydrogen-fuelled vehicle by the U.S. Department of Energy Division. This demonstration will be applicable to other means of transportation such as trucks and trains.

This paragraph describes the conversion.

They used a 1979 Buick Century four-door sedan with 3.8-litre displacement, turbocharged V-6 engine. This vehicle provided a good compromise on trunk space for installation of the DFVLR tank, passenger accessibility for demonstration, engine compartment space for versatility in selection of substitute engines, available engine sizes, efficiency and suitability for modification of hydrogen operation.

I am left with the impression, after reading the article, that it might be possible for large American style cars to be converted to hydrogen.

 

November 7, 2020 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Siemens and Macquarie Form Calibrant Energy To Tackle Distributed Energy Market

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Greentech Media.

This is the introductory paragraphs.

Macquarie Capital and Siemens have formed a joint venture to finance and build distributed energy projects, joining an increasingly competitive landscape in the growing corporate renewables market, the two announced this week.

The partnership, called Calibrant Energy, will initially focus its energy-as-a-service model in the United States, where corporate and industrial customers have become heavyweight renewables buyers as they seek to reach decarbonization goals.

It looks a good idea for a business venture.

I also like it, that two big corporate beats have got together tp finance and install renewable energy systems like solar.

October 7, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Finance | , , , | Leave a comment

Trains Are The New Age Planes

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Seeking Alpha.

It is an article well worth a read about the future development of railways in the United States.

August 19, 2020 Posted by | Business, Finance, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Study Reveals Barriers To American Electric Car Adoption

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Hydrogen Fuel News.

The conclusion of the study from George Washington University, is that Americans don’t know much about electric vehicles.

And I suspect, that could apply to a lot of people and not just Americans.

August 6, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment